This fantastic cruise vacation showcases France’s breathtaking scenery, amazing history, and exciting variety. Your adventure begins on the stunning Côte d’Azur, then travel to Arles to board your ship and sail into the peaceful Camargue area during dinner (daylight permitting), before returning to Arles. Then, sail north up the scenic Rhône and Saône Rivers. Along the way, explore Arles, Avignon, delightful Viviers, medieval Tournon, charming Vienne, France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon, as well as St. Jean de Losne, and fascinating Beaune. Take the TGV train from Dijon to Paris, embark your second cruise ship, and begin your journey along the Seine River into the picturesque Normandy region. In Vernon, choose between a guided visit of Claude Monet’s stunning gardens at Giverny or magnificent Bizy Castle. Continue to Les Andelys, home of dramatic Château Gaillard, then on to Caudebec, where you choose between an included excursion to Normandy’s historic landing beaches or an interesting “Taste of Normandy.” Next up: Joan of Arc’s historic Rouen. In Conflans, it’s your choice of excursions to either Vincent van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s elegant Château de Malmaison. And since this cruise has a culinary theme, there’s an onboard pastry demo and a Master of Wine will join you on the ship to host a cheese and wine tasting as well as a special food and wine pairing dinner. Return to Paris for guided sightseeing, taking in the most famous sights of this magnificent city—a fitting conclusion of your magnificent cruise vacation.
Cruise: deluxe 14-night cruise in an outside stateroom with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSMDay 1 Côte d’Azur: welcome to FranceDay 2 Côte d’Azur–Transfer to Arles (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception; sail into the Camargue region (daylight permitting)Day 3 Arles: guided sightseeing, visit the Roman AmphitheaterDay 4 Avignon: guided sightseeing, visit the Palace of the PopesDay 5 Cruising–Viviers: guided walk, visit Old Town and the cathedralDay 6 Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage–Vienne: guided walk in Tournon; guided walk in VienneDay 7 Lyon: guided sightseeing, picture stop on Fourvière HillDay 8 Cruising–St. Jean de Losne: day at leisure; cheese tastingDay 9 St. Jean de Losne (Disembarkation)–Beaune–Dijon–Paris (Embarkation): visit the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune; TGV train from Dijon to Paris; onboard welcome receptionDay 10 Vernon–Les Andelys: choice of guided excursions to Giverny or Bizy Castle; on board crêpes lunch and pastry demonstration; guided walk in Les Andelys, visit the Parish Church of Le Petit AndelyDays 11-12 Caudebec: choice of excursion along either the “Normandy Villages Route” or the “Normandy Abbeys Route”; choice of excursions to Normandy landing beaches or “A Taste of Normandy” – including visit and lunch at a local cheese farm.Day 13 Rouen: guided walk, see the Gros Horloge astronomical clock and visit the cathedral; on board cheese and wine tastingDay 14 Conflans: choice of guided excursions to Auvers-sur-Oise or Château de Malmaison; special food and wine pairing dinnerDay 15 Paris: choice of guided sightseeing or “Heart of Paris” walk, visit Notre Dame CathedralDay 16 Paris (Disembarkation): your vacation ends this morning
Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapésWelcome dinnerDaily Afternoon TeaDaily Night FareFarewell dinnerComplimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; soft drinks with lunch; and wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner are included daily on board your vessel
NOTES:In the event that the TGV is unavailable due to strikes or technical reasons, the transfer from Dijon to Paris will be operated by motorcoach.In the event of water level problems or any problems of a technical nature, it may be necessary to operate the itinerary by motorcoach or to alter the program.Included visits and special features are subject to change. If a change becomes necessary, a substitute will be offered.